Football lawmakers authorize court cases to replace throw-ins with kick-ins | Soccer

Arsene Wenger has previously advocated trying a kick-in

Arsene Wenger has previously spoken out in favor of attempting a kick-in (Images: Getty)

Kick-ins could replace throw-ins in football after the sport’s lawmakers agreed to authorize trials of the idea, which is backed by Arsenal legend and FIFA boss Arsène Wenger.

A range of issues and potential changes to the sport were discussed at the International Football Association Board (Ifab) annual general meeting in Doha on Monday.

Among them was the possibility of replacing throw-ins with kick-ins. Throw-ins have been used in football since the 1860s, with the Football Association banning the kick-in option in 1863.

But kick-ins could make a comeback after Ifab confirmed Trials would be held and the Dutch second division would be keen to give it a try.

The argument for a kick-in is that it is theoretically faster than a throw-in and would therefore speed up the process of returning the ball to the field of play.

There is also a belief that wasting time becomes more difficult when kick-ins are allowed, while teams chasing goals don’t take a throw-in and have to wait for their teammates to catch up before restarting attacks.

Former Arsenal manager Wenger, who now works at FIFA as head of global football development, has previously supported kick-ins to reduce wasted time and positively impact the game.

Throw-ins are an integral part of the game

Throw-ins are an integral part of the game (Picture: Getty)

“There are two big time wasters right now, throw-ins and free-kicks and a bit of a goal-kick because if you’re playing in the box now,” he said last year.

“The goal is to make the game more spectacular and faster, and maybe throw-ins could be played with your feet, but within a limit of, say, five seconds and something like that.

“But it has to be tested and then accepted by the Ifab.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino added this week: “Suggestions have been made to test kick-ins. While we might be a bit skeptical about some of these measures…if there are some suggestions that will help the game, we won’t know until we look at them, so we’ll look at those suggestions as well.”

Ifab also announced attempts to establish a “fairer calculation of playing time” after data showed the ball was in play for just 55 minutes during an average Premier League game last season. Games are scheduled to last 90 minutes, plus additional time for injuries or stoppages.

Semi-automatic VAR could be used at Qatar World Cup (Image: Getty)

This could mean the introduction of a “stopwatch” used in basketball and some other sports.

Ifab added in a statement: “Other attempts such as explaining certain refereeing decisions during a game, potentially fairer calculation of playing time and kick-ins have also been discussed.

“The General Assembly was aware that this and all other processes require approval and are monitored by Ifab and FIFA.”

Meanwhile, the semi-automated video assistant referee (VAR) technology could be used at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

The technology, which will be further tested in the coming months, uses automated ball recognition to indicate offside within seconds.

Elsewhere, the use of five substitutes has now been included in the rules of the game, but Ifab decided to extend trials of concussion substitutes for a further 12 months “to gather enough data to make a science-based decision”.

Body cameras worn by referees could also be tested to improve the safety of officials in adult grassroots football.

Recent research has shown that more than 90% of grassroots umpires have experienced abuse and the affected FA will see many leave the sport for good.

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Arsenal FC Football lawmakers authorize court cases to replace throw-ins with kick-ins | Soccer

Nate Jones

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